He was walking along the beachfront on Thursday when a group of men confronted him, took his cellphone and stabbed him several times. He was in a stable condition in hospital.
Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci has confirmed the stabbing. Soci said Mpofu was a victim of a mugging this afternoon at about 3pm at the beach between Eastern Beach and Nahoon Reef in East London.
“It is alleged that he was attacked by two assailants and was robbed of his personal belongings. He sustained stab wounds to the upper and lower body, and was rushed to a hospital in East London. He is in a serious but stable condition,” said Soci. “SAPS Detectives were summoned to the scene and are investigating a case of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm and robbery. No arrests have been made as yet.”
Mpofu’s role in the Marikana commission – where he is representing families of the 34 slain miners and arrested mineworkers – and his representation of the ANC Youth League’s president Julius Malema during the ANC’s disciplinary hearings angered many inside and outside the ANC.
At the beginning of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry late last year, Mpofu revealed that ANC deputy president and business tycoon Cyril Ramaphosa said in an email exchange between Lonmin management and government officials on the eve of the Marikana shooting that a ‘concomitant action’ was needed in order to address the illegal strike.
Mpofu, according to SABC, was on a short break as the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting would resume next week.
Mpofu is also the former chief executive of the SABC. Mpofu was paid R11-million to walk away from his job after a bitter fued arose between him, then-SABC board chairperson Khanyi Mkhonza Snuki Zikalala, whose contract as head of news and current affairs ended in April 2009.
Mpofu took the SABC to court after he was suspended for suspending Zikalala. Mpofu accused Zikalala of leaking confidential documents to other media outlets.
But, the board then suspended Mpofu saying he had no authority to suspend Zikalala. – Additional reporting by Sapa